While Twitter has already appointed a chief compliance officer and a resident grievance officer as a contingent arrangement, it was yet to designate a nodal contact person. However, the micro-blogging site on Friday informed the Delhi High Court that it has also appointed a Nodal Contact Officer also in compliance with the IT Rules, 2021.
Shahin Komath has been appointed as Nodal Contact Officer with effect from August 04 and is fully capable of performing the functions of the post as contemplated under Rule 4(1)(b) of the IT Rule, informed Twitter to the Court. Shahin Komath is a former executive with ByteDance, the Chinese tech giant behind TikTok.
Shahin Komath is a former executive with ByteDance, the Chinese tech giant behind TikTok. Komath has experience of working with law enforcement in India as he was the nodal and grievance officer at ByteDance. He was responsible for handling law enforcement requests from South East Asia for the Chinese company. He has also worked as the grievance officer for the Helo short video app, another ByteDance app banned in India now. “Komath is fully capable of performing the functions of the Nodal Contact Person as contemplated under Rule 4(1)(b),” Twitter said in its affidavit submitted to the court.
The social networking platform in a written reply also informed that Vinay Prakash, who was earlier appointed as the Chief Compliance Officer, is also designated as Resident Grievance Officer of the company in India now. While earlier he was appointed on an interim basis, now his position has been made permanent.
Twitter had filed its response to the petition filed by lawyer Amit Acharya. Reportedly the petitioner had come across “defamatory, false and untrue” tweets on Twitter made by two verified users- Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and journalist Swati Chaturvedi.
The petitioner wanted to raise a grievance against them before the resident grievance officer under the IT Rules, 2021, however, “he (the petitioner) was unable to find the contact details of the Resident Grievance on the website of Twitter for raising his grievance,” informed Acharya to the Court.
Reacting to the development, Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) Chetan Sharma appearing for Centre said, ‘we need time to verify the new appointments made by Twitter Inc’.
It is imperative to note that Twitter in July had hired Prakash as a “contingent worker” through a third-party contractor. The Court, however, had taken objection to the word “contingent” and had also questioned Twitter’s submission of making an offer of employment to fill this position within eight weeks.
Court pulls up Twitter for non-compliance
Twitter’s statement also comes a week after the court observed that it was in “total non-compliance” with the new IT rules laid down by the Government of India.
Expressing unhappiness over affidavits, the HC granted one more week’s time to file a better affidavit which lists out details of persons appointed as Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance Officer as mandated in new IT Rules. The Centre too had raised objection to Twitter’s affidavit on compliance.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, representing the government informed that the Indian government will now examine whether the appointments are as per the rules.